Lexi Thompson is back for a sixth time at the QBE Shootout while her partner, Maverick McNealy, is a rookie at the event. The former Stanford star got his first look at Tiburon Golf Course on Wednesday. Thompson, however, competed there just last month at the LPGA season-ending CME Group Tour Championship. She won the CME at Tiburon in 2018.
“I know he’s good,” said Thompson, when the pair of 27-year-olds were asked what they knew about each other. McNealy commented on their shared competitive drive.
“We’re not showing up here as an exhibition,” he said. “I want to give us as many good looks from the fairway as possible and just hit it right at the flag. Really excited.”
This year marks the first time that two women are in the field as World No. 2 Nelly Korda will partner with Denny McCarthy. The winning team earns $950,000.
Earlier this week, the Associated Press reported that the QBE would become a mixed-team event between the PGA Tour and LPGA beginning in 2023. The two tours haven’t had a mixed-team event on the schedule for more than two decades.
“Golf being such an individual sport,” said Thompson, “we want more team events but definitely mixed women’s and men’s. I think it will be great for the game of golf. I think team events bring a lot bigger fan base. I think people absolutely love watching us play and fist pump and just be there for each other.”
Added McNealy: “I totally agree, I think any chance you can get the best golfers in the world period together and competing, that’s a great thing on both sides. I think it would be awesome.”
Maverick McNealy at the 2022 CJ Cup in South Carolina. (Photo: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports)
Ten of the 12 teams on hand this week will be together for the first time. The event, which is celebrating its 34th year, will feature a scramble format on Friday, modified alternate shot on Saturday and four-ball on Sunday.
Growing up with two older brothers, Thompson, an 11-time winner on…